Even though it's been a few years since Big Sister E was a baby, I can still remember the main topics of conversation and questions that other new moms and I discussed. How do I know if they are getting enough to eat? How much sleep do they need? Is it too early to be on a nap schedule? Can I start solids earlier than six months?
And then there was always the common one: I know tummy time is important, but how do I get my child to like it? I used to just lay out a baby blanket on the floor and sit in front of Big Sister E with a few toys to keep her occupied... and I'm pretty sure it wasn't all that thrilling for either one of us. Fortunately, she was laid back enough to put up with it, but it sure would have been nice to have something a little more entertaining and enjoyable for both of us.
Out of all of the play mats that I've seen, the one that really would have been nice to have is the Jumbo Wheel Play Space from Infantino.
Right away when I opened the box, I was already interested in checking out the 20+ fun and eye-catching features that this mat provides. From the bright colors to the variety of textures, the Jumbo Wheel Play Space measures a whopping 47" in diameter, which is more than enough room to lay a baby down and not worry that they are just going to roll right off in one swoop.
Everywhere I looked, there was another attention-grabbing element: crinkly ears to grab, rings to attach other toys or to act as teethers, a removable mirror to make fun faces into, a squeaker to surprise and delight and a soft flower that attaches with Velcro that plays music. Is there a way for a baby to not be mesmerized by all the amazing things there are to see here?
In fact, even though Little Sister B is long past tummy time, her eyes lit up the moment I brought the Jumbo Wheel Play Space out and she was ready to pull it out of my hand if I didn't lay it out for her to examine.
Having a great time thoroughly checking out each and every aspect (making her "O wow" face at almost all of them), Little Sister B was more than content to hang out, read a few books and just relax on this soft mat. When I went to pick it up to move it, she was definitely not pleased and it went right back down for more entertainment - I'd call that a hit.
As an added bonus, the Jumbo Wheel Play Space can be rolled or folded right up for traveling or to put in storage when it is not being used. Stick it in a drawer or closet to make more room around the house or toss it your car and you'll be ready to pull it right back out when you arrive at Grandma's. Along with not requiring any set-up, this play mat is machine washable (after you remove the detachable toys) so you don't have to worry if it gets dusty... or spit up on. An all-around great place for babies to hang out!
However, if you're looking for something with a little more action, Infantino's Twist & Fold Activity Gym is just the thing to encourage reaching and movement in your little one.
Set-up for this activity gym took only a few moments, as all that was needed was to clip the support bars right in underneath the mat itself and push straight down on the plastic orange top. The bars click into place, making the whole thing sturdy and strong for plenty of baby enjoyment.
The soft, cushioned mat provides a comfortable place to lie down, whether for babies on their tummy (there's even a movable plush bolster to prop up on) or on their back to enjoy the view. Looking up, a baby can get a kick out of seeing themselves in the adjustable mirror (both of my kids always loved their own reflection) or play with the four linkable animal toys. Little Sister B was a bit too large for this one, but still spent a little quiet time checking out the fun features this activity gym provides.
As well as the bright colors and patterns, Little Sister B had a good time with the variety of crinkling and music she was able to discover from the hanging animals. Batting each one back and forth, she looked at me and laughed at having such easy access to her new friends.
The really unique part of the Twist & Fold Activity Gym comes when it is time to put it away for the day. One slight push and turn of the dial at the top of the gym and the whole thing folds down and Velcros shut into one convenient bundle. For small living spaces or travel, this is a great item to have for saving room or bringing the fun to any location. Entertaining, portable and the mat is washable? What a great combination!
Both the Jumbo Wheel Play Space and the Twist & Fold Activity Gym are cute, bright and fun. Easily adaptable for any age baby, it doesn't matter if your little one just likes to lay back and relax or is turning into a little explorer, these mats will provide hours of fun! Having gotten to try these, along with the Infantino Fold & Go Bouncer, I can see why Infantino is known for their captivating, entertaining, stylish and no-fuss products. When they say they know babies, they really know babies!
I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for Infantino and have received various Infantino products as part of my participation. However, other than the products, I was not provided with anything or enticed to do this review in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion of these items.